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How to Get a Resale Certificate in South Carolina

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Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Updated on December 14, 2022

How to Get a Resale Certificate in South Carolina

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How to Get a Resale Certificate in South Carolina

If you have recently launched or are planning to launch a limited liability company (LLC) that will sell products or services in South Carolina, you may want to get a resale certificate, or several of them, before you start doing business, as this can save you a lot of time and money. 

It’s a relatively simple process, as detailed in this step-by-step guide.  

What is a Resale Certificate?

If your LLC has a valid resale certificate, you can buy goods from a wholesaler without paying sales tax, though you may pay a use tax. Depending on the size of your business, this can save you tens of thousands of dollars each year. 

The catch is that whenever you do use a resale certificate to purchase goods, you are legally bound to resell those items and collect sales tax when you do so. If you do not resell those items, or fail to collect sales tax, the punishment could be costly fines or potential jail time. 

Keep in mind, each resale certificate, also known as a resale license, applies to a single vendor. This means you’ll need a resale certificate for each one of your vendors. 

You cannot use a resale certificate to buy items you do not intend to resell, such as a new computer for your business. This would be tax fraud, a felony offense. You are only able to buy items tax-exempt if you are going to collect sales tax on them later.

Not all wholesalers will accept resale certificates, nor do they have to. They may choose not to because of the risk of expired or false certificates, which would put the wholesaler on the hook for the sales tax.

state flag of south carolina, usa

How to Apply for a Resale Certificate in South Carolina

In South Carolina, you’ll need to obtain the resale certificate from the Department of Revenue. The certificate is not filed with the state of South Carolina, it’s simply kept on file by the seller.

In a few states, a seller’s permit, or sales tax permit, also serves as a resale certificate that applies to all vendors. But in most states, including South Carolina, you’ll need a seller’s permit as well as resale certificates for each of your vendors. 

The seller’s permit identifies you with your state as a collector of sales tax. If you sell tangible personal property or goods you are required to have a sales tax permit. In some states, even a service provider like a lawyer is required to have a sales tax permit and collect state sales tax.

The resale certificate applies to items that you buy for resale, or for parts that you buy to manufacture something for sale. 

How to Fill out the South Carolina Resale Certificate

In South Carolina, the Department of Revenue handles the issuance of resale certificates. Start by visiting the website, then follow these simple steps:

  1. On the Sales page, click Forms on the left hand side, then click the ST-8A link next to Resale Certificate to download the form. 
South Carolina Resale Certificate
  1. Under Seller Identification, enter your seller’s contact information.
South Carolina Resale Certificate Form
  1. Fill in the next section with your business information and state retail license number.
South Carolina Resale Certificate Form
  1. Lastly, sign and date your form and keep a copy for your records.
South Carolina Resale Certificate Form

For assistance, contact the South Carolina Department of Revenue at 1-844-898-8542​.

Does a South Carolina Resale Certificate Expire?

In South Carolina, resale certificates do not expire as long as your business is in operation. 

Conclusion 

Resale certificates can be a bit of a hassle, but in South Carolina they are an absolute necessity. So take the time to get certificates for each of your vendors to ensure full compliance with your state’s tax regulations.